Two of the best return men in history of the New Orleans Saints are going into the team’s Hall of Fame this year.
Michael Lewis, the “Beer Man” who came to the Saints after working for Budweiser, and mid-90’s return man Tyrone Hughes were announced as the next two inductees into the Saints Hall of Fame in a ceremony at the Superdome on Tuesday.
Lewis, who went from driving a truck for Budweiser at age 25 to indoor football’s Louisiana Bayou Beast to a six-year Saints career as a return man and receiver, was named to the Saints’ 45th anniversary team as the return specialist after setting team records for punt returns and punt-return yardage.
Lewis, who now works as a team ambassador, averaged 10.4 yards per return on punt and 24.3 yards on kickoffs, producing four touchdowns in seven seasons with the team.
Hughes only played four seasons in New Orleans, but the former defensive back was almost as electric as Hayes. In four seasons with the Saints, Hughes returned three kickoffs and two punts for touchdowns, including three combined touchdown returns in his rookie season in 1993.
Hughes, who averaged 25 yards per return on kickoffs and 9.1 yards on punts, still holds the NFL record for kickoff return yards in a single game with 304, a mark he set by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns against the Rams in 1994.
By virtue of their induction, Lewis and Hughes bring the total number of former Saints in the team’s Hall of Fame to 46.
SMG executive vice president Doug Thornton was presented the Joe Gemelli Fleur de Lis Award.